Welcome from the Chairman

A warm welcome to our existing and new member Clubs to what should be another exciting season.

We were extremely lucky this season weather wise with very little interruption to the League and cup schedule which was a real bonus for the Clubs and Management Committee.

The midweek fixtures played at the start of the season by a number of age groups helped us get off to a good start though again end of season midweek games had to be scheduled mostly I believe through County Cup games and extended holiday periods. I once again thank all the member clubs who were involved with late fixtures for their patience and understanding.

The league continues to grow with more clubs applying to join, again I reiterate our current member clubs always take priority and will be considered before any new clubs are added to the League.

The Whole Game System for player registrations etc seems to be going well and as previously said should help clubs with their administration. I must single out Andy Gorman for all his help in making WGS a little easier to understand and his ongoing support for member clubs, plus Carla and Nigel’s input.

Discipline continues to be an issue with misconduct instances increasing from 44 last season to 52 this is not good reading, the main ones being Physical Contact with the referee 3 reported instances and Respect sanctions (e.g. 4+violent conduct red cards across Club) and Multi-player misconduct (5+cards in a game) the League will not tolerate any more of these type of issues and will do everything necessary to eradicate these problems. However, we need your help with this and I implore you all to remove anyone from your Club who fails to meet the required standards, you are duty bound to do this as Charter Standard Clubs. I must add though that the majority of Clubs are doing a brilliant job it’s just the odd ones who are letting the League down, these are the ones that we’ll be looking at in more detail. We are hoping that with the introduction of the Sin Bin next season incidents of poor conduct will be much less.

I did mention in my last report that we were looking at asking referees to award Fair Play marks at matches and clubs failing to make the required standards will be invited to attend a Fair Play meeting with the League, the idea is to promote and reinforce sportsmanship. This didn’t materialize but Stuart assures me that the necessary changes will be made for the coming new season. The LMC/FPC can set targets for clubs/teams including the withdrawal of a particular player’s registration and through the County FA possible suspension of Charter Standard and in the case of club coaches their coaching badge. Would you all please feed this back to all your Managers/Coaches and Players as to what the future could hold if your club fails to act in a responsible manner. We are to say the least extremely disappointed at what some of our younger referees have had to deal with this season and this child abuse must stop now.

Stuart has done a remarkable job this season with support from Carla the stats are very pleasing as follows, Under 9s up to under 18s:

  • 5830 games played
  • 5620 games covered by a registered Referee
  • % of games covered by a registered Referee 96.4%

These are excellent figures for the League and Stuart has spent many hours in appointing referees to those games and also making numerous changes when county cups weekends take referees.

I must also mention Ed Duckworth and Nigel Freelove from CCFA in facilitating additional courses to address referee numbers and the Altrincham & District Central appointments and Altrincham &

District Referees Society led by Anthony Taylor with support from Stephen Brown, Dennis Phillips, Chris Broadhurst and of course Stuart.

Whilst on the subject of referees can we congratulate Carla Parker on being voted the Female Referee of the Year Award at the recent CCFA Dinner, in my view a very worthy winner?

The MU Foundation continues to support the league and facilitated a very good course for a number of Youth players from our member clubs. We will continue to work closely with John and his team to help in any training which the Foundation can provide. Next season will be our 6th year in partnership and we believe that only one other league has a collaboration of this kind across the whole of England so again I thank John Shiels and his team for all their help.

The start of the cup campaign virtually went to plan kicking off at the end of March, and I can report that except for a couple of minor changes brought about by County Cup issues our cup competition followed the dates which I planned at day 1.

34 member clubs from U12 to Youth shared the league awards this season, Pick of the clubs for finalists were Sale United (6) Altrincham FC Jnrs (4) Ashton on Mersey (4) and AFC Urmston Meadowside (4) with Sale Communities, Egerton FC (3) each. 65% of the member clubs contested the League championship awards; this is an increase from last season with a number of new clubs successful.

The 11v11 cup competition commenced as planned at the end of March, with the first two U13 finals at Trafford FC. All the finals once again produced a very good standard of football and again were well supported. 24 member clubs 46% of membership took part in the finals. Altrincham FC Jnrs and Egerton FC were the leading clubs with 4 finalists (Egerton winning 3) followed by Sale United and West Didsbury & Chorlton with 3 each, with 8 further clubs having 2 finalists. Again my thanks to the Divisional Secretaries who officiated and presented at their cup finals.

The other finals were contested between the remaining 12 clubs in the competition.

The following clubs achieved league and cup doubles, U13 and U15 Sale Communities, U15 Stockport Dynamoes, U16 Altrincham FC Jnrs, Youth ‘B’ Broadheath Central and Youth ‘D’ Cheadle Town.

The mini soccer finals days (Spring Cup) were once again held at Trafford FC. 15 member clubs at U9 (12 Finals) shared the awards with Sale United (4 finalists), Longford Park, FC Sporting Sale, Unicorn Athletic, Altrincham FC Jnrs and Urmston Meadowside (2 finalists).

The U10s (Spring Cup) had 18 member clubs taking part (12 Finals) with Sale United (3 finalist) the pick of the teams.

The U10s (Autumn Cup) (9 Finals) had 9 member clubs participating with Broadheath Central the pick with 3 finalists, Sale United, Ashton on Mersey Wilmslow Town, Wilmslow Sports and AFC Urmston Meadowside 2 each.

The U11 (Spring Cup) was contested by 12 member clubs 7 Finals with a good spread of teams with only NTA and Timperley FC having two finalists.

The U11 (Autumn Cup) had 13 member clubs taking part with 7 finals a notable winner being MU Foundation girls.

The U12 Cup finals had 8 member clubs (6 finals) contesting the finals, with Sale United 3 finalist’s (2 winners) the pick.

The U13 Europa finals had 11 member clubs taking part across 9 finals with all the games producing good entertaining football.

The U14s Champions Cup had 4 group finals A–D with 8 member clubs participating.

The U9 Powerleague Cup was again a huge success with 14 member clubs taking part. Only 2 clubs had more than one finalist therefore it was a keenly contested competition this season. Carla again ensured everything ran smoothly and everyone who took part in the U9 Cup remarked about the standard and organization of the competition.

Trafford FC once again hosted the knockout mini soccer finals with Stuart organizing the referees. All the finals over the long two weekends U9/10/11/12 were a huge success and again I thank the Divisional Secretaries for looking after their respective age groups. Brian McGuiness again kindly allowed the league the use of Broadheath Centrals portable goals which always makes life easier for set up and take down.

Again good comments received from teams and spectators re the finals and the organization.

Trafford FC (10) and Flixton FC (5) staged the majority of the 11 a side finals with Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads and Irlam Steel hosting 3 finals. In addition Trafford FC hosted the Mini Soccer Finals and 9v9 finals over two very busy weekends with Broadheath Central, Egerton FC, Brooklands Dragons supporting the U11/U12/U14 Champions Cup and autumn medal competitions. My thanks to all the mentioned Clubs for hosting all the finals, and the use of their excellent facilities. We staged over 90 finals in total this season including the Powerleague, mini soccer, 9 v 9 and 11 a-sides and I thank the mentioned clubs for their support to the league.

In the MCFA cup competition at Under 15 Boothstown played Sale United in the final with I believe Boothstown the eventual winners, an excellent season for both teams.

The applications from new Clubs have been accepted by the League members and we hope they enjoy being part of our League for many years to come. It would appear that we have quite a good reputation across the County with teams wishing to join the league.

Atticus again supplied the awards this season, after spending numerous hours at the supplier I was able to secure enough awards to cover the leagues requirements the problem being lack of supply in the numbers and awards we needed, however, with the help of Stuart, John H and Brian we managed to deliver JIT. Atticus continues to support the League and I thank Nadeem and his team for this plus their ongoing sponsorship.

The U7/U8/U9 festival was again a huge success staged at the Powerleague soccer dome now Fives Soccer. Clubs continue to enjoy the safe, friendly non competitive environment with some good football being played in the competitive U9 cup competition which forms part of our commitment to the FA Development Plan. Good reviews were once again received from clubs and the finals and presentations at the centre went to plan. My thanks to Carla for the U9s organization and administration and a special mention to Andy Gorman not only for running the U7/U8 leagues so effectively but for his work with the press and other bodies in lobbying for the Powerleagues future. Andy spent time with the media both at the centre but also on live radio, in addition it would be remiss of me not to mention Rachel Robinson one of the coaches at Urmston Meadowside who started the online petition to keep the centre open which ran to over 8000 signatures, we thank them most sincerely on behalf of the thousands of people who use the centre. I think I must have written more than a dozen letters to prominent people over the issue of the centre closing, unfortunately we have recently attended meetings at Fives who have stated that the indoor soccer centre will cease trading by the new year which came as a shock to all, however the League has been active elsewhere with a view to moving the U7/8 friendly football to a new centre.

The Altrincham District FA Central Appointing System is working extremely hard in trying to attract new referees and further courses have been planned. The coverage reported earlier is excellent and I know Stuarts aim is to achieve 100% coverage across all divisions and I sincerely hope he achieves this. However, we must all work hard in stamping out the issues of abuse and intimidation with young referees. It’s obviously no use Stuart increasing the referee numbers if we then lose some of them due to the issues mentioned. Your help is needed with this ensuring that your Club Officials behave in a respectful and courteous way with these young people, remember it is a Child Protection issue as well.

I must make it absolutely clear to all Clubs that this League WILL NOT tolerate any referee abuse by spectators / club officials / players and the ‘Respect’ programme in conjunction with the published sanctions will enable us to deal with any incident that may occur.

Every season I talk about Player and club development and both these are still our main priority and we are always available to clubs to help with these important points. However, looking at the results in League and Cup it is clear to me that both these initiatives are your priorities also.

Fines are issued to clubs normally due to the lack of discipline in carrying out everyday business and these are usually the simplest of tasks such as communicating results, match card discrepancies and general administration.. I reiterate that we do not like issuing fines and feel the money would be better kept with the clubs, however, where necessary we will deal with offending clubs and issue sanctions.

The non competitive competition is now part of our league and teams up to U11s will be operating in this format for the coming season. The cup competition for these age groups will be competitive though and will be a Europa cup competition.

It’s very pleasing and rewarding when member clubs hard work and player development bears fruit in the league and cup competitions, however, we must remember that not all our clubs teams are fortunate in this respect but are still an integral part of the league. Player development of all the players taking part in this league is our number one priority and we will do whatever is necessary to continue down this path. However, it is abundantly clear looking at the league and cup results that all member clubs are setting very high standards and we hope that this trend continues.

We try to maintain our high standards every season for all member clubs and I trust that we can continue to work together and further promote our league at Local, District, County and National level.

The Council and Management Committee once again express its sincere thanks to all Clubs for your continuing support and commitment. I reiterate that any difficult / hard decisions by the league committee are always taken in the best interests of all member clubs, our number one priority, though I am aware that it’s difficult at times to please everyone.

I once again thank all the members of the council and management committee, vice presidents and life members for their continuing support, dedication and hard work these people put countless hours in on your behalf to ensure that the Timperley & District JFL is the best league in the North West and beyond.

Change is an important process and after the WGS we now look towards the introduction of the Sin Bin which is now live, so we should see the benefits of this in hopefully reducing dissent in the League.

We are ready to move into our 11th full season as a Charter Standard League, we look forward to the new season and trust it will be as exciting and successful as 2018/19 and again blessed with decent weather. We look forward to working with you all once again and hope you all have an

enjoyable summer before embarking on yet another busy season of hopefully enjoyable trouble free and rewarding football.

I welcome the new Clubs to the League for the 2019-20 Season and hope they have an enjoyable and successful time with us. Special thanks to our existing member Clubs for their continued support to the T&DJFL.

John Burnett

Timperley & District Football League

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